2022 – In My Radar: Cultural Landmarks by Yuval Noah Harari | Yuval Noah Harari

hHistorian, philosopher and author Yuval Noah Harari was born in Israel in 1976 and received his Ph.D. from Jesus College, Oxford in 2002. Published in 2014 Sapiens: a brief history of mankindwhich became a world bestseller. follow it Homo Deus: A Short History of Tomorrow (2016) and 21 lessons for the twenty-first century (2018). He lives with his wife in Israel and works as a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. On June 2, Harare will be on HowTheLightGetsIn Hay where you can catch him talking to Slavoj ižek.

1. Fantasy

trojan women pat parker

I really enjoyed this book that retells part of the story of the Trojan War The Iliad From the point of view of the captured women. It was interesting to see how one of the most recurring stories, certainly in the Western tradition, could be told in an entirely new way, simply by taking on a new perspective. Pat Parker is a great writer – I’ve read most of her books. When you describe something, it feels sensual and tangible. You can well imagine what you are talking about. I couldn’t put it down.

2. Musically

Book of Mormon

“The Power of Stories to Shape the World”: The Book of Mormon. Photo: Joan Marcos

This was the last musical I saw before the coronavirus pandemic caused me to come to London and see it as a problem. I’ve actually seen him four times on separate occasions – it’s an amazing performance. I really connected with that: the entire musical is about the power of stories to shape the world and how an entirely fictional story can impose itself on reality, for better or worse, and people’s entire lives as well as social and political systems all reshape them.

Different Cover: What monkeys can teach us about sex

3. My stories

Anders: What Monkeys Can Teach Us About Sex, by Frans de Waal

I’m reading this now. That was a safe bet for me, because every time Frans de Waal publishes a book, I’ve read it straight away since then. chimpanzee policyWhich came out 40 years ago and blew me away. The new book is both timely and bold in the way it tackles some of today’s most important topics – directly addressing the question of sex and gender in biology and culture. I also really like his writing style: he is able to communicate scientific ideas in a clear and engaging way.

4. TV

Young Royals (Netflix)

A close-up shot of the faces of two young men, one of them touching the other's neck with his hand
“If Sweden’s crown prince turns out to be gay”: Young Royals. Photo: Netflix

This series is about what happens when the crown prince of Sweden turns out to be gay. Imagination is at its best when it is a social experiment. Property rights are based on the most traditional notions of family, heredity, gender, and sexuality. The first season did not get away with the experience – the royal family simply closed the prince in the treasury. I hope the second season opens new ground and explores how a liberal royal establishment can openly embrace a crown prince like me: “Yeah, a prince is like me – get over it. So let’s think about what that means in terms of royal marriage and succession and all that.”

Fifth place

AlpH Adriatic Trailslovenia

Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Photo: Janos Gaspar / Alami

Last year I walked this trail from Kranjska Gora to Tolmin and it was one of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever taken. It was also interesting from a historical point of view because it runs roughly along the front line of World War I between Italy and the Habsburg Empire. It is amazing to think that hundreds of thousands of people died and were injured there. When we think of World War I, we usually think of northern France and the mud of Flanders. Walking between these peaceful forests and the Soča River and imagining what it was like a century ago was completely fantastical.

6. Sports

2022 Fifa WM

Jules Rimet Cup.
Jules Rimet Cup. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

I am very excited about it. It’s a shame it’s November and December because I’m planning to go to my annual meditation retreat in December so I’m going to miss the finals and semi-finals. I enjoy the World Cup because I love the game and I think it’s a great example to humanity of how to reconcile nationalism and global cooperation. People have a strong loyalty to their national team, but you can’t get a trophy if everyone doesn’t agree on the same rules. As a blueprint for the world, I think this is a good example.